Despite their name, all-season tires aren’t really made for every Canadian season. When it comes to winter, only snow tires will keep you safe on the roads. If you’re still driving on all-seasons, thinki you’re safe on the roads, you’ll want to keep reading. Here are three reasons why you’re wrong.
Winter Tires Brake Faster
The folks over at Edmunds (the same Edmunds behind Edmunds New Cars & Trucks Buyer’s Guides) conducted a brake test on a Civic Si, seeing how quickly it could brake from 40–0 mph using winter, all-season, and summer tires. Their tests show:
- The Civic with snow tires took 11.7 seconds to come to a complete stop
- The Civic with all-season tires took 14.5 seconds to come to a complete stop
- The Civic with summer tires took 41.7 seconds to come to a complete stop
All-season tires are 24 percent slower to brake than winter tires. Though it may seem like a marginal difference, it’s a big deal. Nearly 3 seconds can feel like a lifetime when a car suddenly pulls out in front of you and your vehicle fails to brake. Driving on snow tires that can brake faster may be the reason why you avoid a fender bender this season.
Winter Tires Reduce Hydroplaning
In the GTA, winter consists of a rolling cycle of deep freezes followed by balmy thaws. As a result, it’s not unusual for the streets of Mississauga to be covered in a thin layer of melted snow. While some people may believe wet roads provide better driving conditions than snowy ones, they’re not necessarily correct. Damp roads pose a danger to drivers.
When water collects on the roads, it impedes your tires’ ability to grip the road’s surface. If enough water collects between your tires and the roads, you’ll hydroplane. Also known as aquaplaning, hydroplaning causes you to lose control of your vehicle, and you’ll to skid or slide on the road.
Winter tires are constructed in such a way to decrease the chances of hydroplaning. If you’ve ever looked at a tire close up, you’ll have noticed it has a series of grooves to help them grip surfaces. These are called sipes. Winter tires have a crisscrossing network of sipes that divert water away from the rubber to increase the tires’ contact with the road.
Winter Tires Exert More Pressure On The Road
When asked what tires are made out of, most people will say, “rubber” quickly and confidently. While they’re correct, this simple answer doesn’t get into differences found in the kind of rubber used in each season’s tires.
Winter tires have a unique rubber technology that tolerates cold temperatures better than any other seasons’ tires. Combined with its specialized tread design, winter tires remain flexible in temperatures that dip well below freezing.
Flexibility is an essential trait in a tire, as it improves the vehicle’s handling and braking. Without it, you run the risk of spinning out or sliding to a stop. Since all-season tires aren’t made with the same tech, it can’t tolerate the colder temperatures of a typical Canadian winter. It starts to lose its flexibility in temperatures as warm as 7°C. Once the mercury dips below zero, its rubber becomes brittle and struggles to maintain traction even when the roads are clear of snow, slush, or rain.
There’s no excuse — get winter tires now!
Now that you know why you shouldn’t keep driving on your all-seasons, book an appointment with your local automotive service centre to make the switch. If you’re worried you won’t have time to transition before the next big winter storm hits, contact a repair facility like Veerpreet Service Centre. Open 24/7 365 for the past 25 years, Veerpreet is known for their fast and reliable tire servicing at any time of day or night. When you can find a centre with these hours, it’s easy to get winter tires — even at the last second.
When an experienced and dependable repair shop can schedule you before the next big storm, there’s no excuse to keep driving on all-seasons. It’s time you make the switch; you’ll be safer for it!